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The major themes and their presentation in the plays of Jean Giraudoux

Garrard. D. R, (1973) The major themes and their presentation in the plays of Jean Giraudoux. Masters thesis, Durham University.



First of all in this piece of research, the notion of 'Tragedy’ is discussed and Giraudoux’s conception of it is revealed. Rather than use the word 'Tragedy' it is better to say that his plays are 'Debates’. The major debate being that between Humanity and Destiny. Then the concept of the Supernatural is studied. Giraudoux demonstrates the impotence and apparent immorality of God and the Gods. There is, however, a strong feeling of an exterior force. Fate, which must not be disturbed, and which is symbolised by the sleeping tiger in La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu. It becomes clear that this force stems from within man himself, and is revealed especially in his inner desire for war. Some characters become suddenly aware of the role which they must play, and they are known as the 'elect', and the moment when they become aware of this role is described by the verb ‘se declarer'. War is the next theme studied, and it is seen that the only hope for mankind in overcoming his warlike nature lies in the power of love, and in particular in the power of the 'couple'. What Giraudoux expects from the 'couple' is examined next, and what special type of woman is required to form this 'couple' is discovered by studying the female characters in each of the plays. The fifth chapter deals with the major symbol in Giraudoux’s work, Dawn. It is the symbol of his hope for the future of mankind. In the sixth chapter the principles upon which Giraudoux bases his theatre are examined, and this is followed by a study of the linguistic and theatrical devices which he employs in order to present his themes. The effect of his partnership with Louis Jouvet is also seen, and in conclusion the relationship of Giraudoux to the dramatists who have preceded him and succeeded him is considered.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1973
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:36

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